Charles Sawyers

Charles Sawyers, M.D.

Charles Sawyers

Charles Sawyers is chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is also a professor in the Cell and Developmental Biology Program at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Sawyers is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is past president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Investigation, was appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board by President Obama, and has served on the board of directors of Novartis since 2013. He also serves as steering committee chair of AACR Project GENIE, an international consortium of cancer centers that share genomic and clinical data from patients treated at their respective clinical sites.

Sawyers is currently an HHMI investigator searching for molecularly targeted approaches to treat cancer. He has identified cell signaling components critical to the growth of cancer cells in chronic myeloid leukemia, prostate cancer, and other cancers, resulting in the development of multiple FDA-approved inhibitors in clinical use today.

Sawyers studies mechanisms of cancer drug resistance with an eye toward developing novel therapies. He co-discovered the antiandrogen drug enzalutamide that was approved by the FDA in 2012 for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. He shared the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for the development of the ABL kinase inhibitor imatinib for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and the second-generation ABL inhibitor dasatinib to overcome imatinib resistance. He received the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the 2013 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science, the 2017 American Cancer Society Medal of Honor for Clinical Research, and the inaugural STAT Biomedical Innovation Award in 2019.

Sawyers received a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, followed by an internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco. 


June 2023